On This Day February 23
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1868 – American civil rights activist, sociologist, educator, historian and writer W.E.B. Du Bois (d.1963)
1940 – Actor Peter Fonda (“Easy Rider,” “Ulee’s Gold,” “The Passion of Ayn Rand,” “Wild Hogs,” “3:10 to Yuma”) (d. 2019)
1955 – 80s synth-pop singer-songwriter Howard Jones (“Things Can Only Get Better,” “Life in One Day,” “No One Is To Blame”)
1965 – Entrepreneuer and Dell Computer founder-CEO Michael Dell
1976 – Actress Kelly Macdonald (“Trainspotting,” “Gosford Park,” “The Girl in the Café,” “Boardwalk Empire”)
1983 – Golden Globe-winning actress Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Gideon’s Daughter,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “The Five-Year Engagement,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Sicario,” “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” “The Girl on the Train”, “A Quiet Place”, “Mary Poppins Returns”)
1994 – Actress Dakota Fanning (“I Am Sam,” “Man on Fire,” “War of the Worlds,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Coraline,” “The Twilight Saga”)
1836 – The Battle of the Alamo begins as Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and his army arrive in San Antonio, Texas. Undaunted, William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and a few hundred others prepare to defend the mission together, holding out for 13 days. “Remember the Alamo!” becomes a rallying cry for the Texian Army.
1945 – During the bloody Battle of Iwo Jima, five U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. His iconic World War II image — a symbol of American military heroism — wins a Pulitzer Prize and becomes the inspiration for the national U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
1954 – Elementary school children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.
1968 – Considered a basketball legend, Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first NBA player to score more than 25,000 points during his professional sports career.
1980 – American speed skater Eric Heiden wins the 10,000-meter race at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, setting a world record with his time and winning an unprecedented fifth Gold medal at the games.
1997 – Scientists in Scotland announce that they have cloned a sheep named Dolly — the first successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell. This development sparks widespread speculation about the possibility of human cloning.
1963 – Paul & Paula wrap up their three-week ride on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Hey Paula.”
1974 – Barbra Streisand dominates the pop chart for a third week with the Oscar and Grammy-winning theme from the movie “The Way We Were.”
1978 – For the first time in Grammy Award history, two singles tie for Song of the Year: Barbra Streisand’s “Love Theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen)” and Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.” Other winners include Fleetwood Mac (Album of the Year for “Rumours”), Eagles (Record of the Year for “Hotel California”) and The Bee Gees (Best Pop Vocal Performance for “How Deep Is Your Love”).
1980 – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” from Queen’s “The Game” album, becomes the British rock band’s first No. 1 single in the U.S. It holds the top spot for four weeks. Freddie Mercury claimed to have written the song in about 10 minutes while taking a bath.
1991 – Whitney Houston scores her ninth No. 1 single in five years with “All the Man That I Need.”
2000 – Carlos Santana cleans up at the 42nd Annual Grammys, winning eight awards, including Album of the Year for his chart-topping “Supernatural” album.
2002 – “Always on Time,” by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, tops the Billboard Hot 100.